Coronavirus: NBA Wants Players To Take 50 Percent Pay Cut, Union Counters With 25 Percent

Written by Ann Brown
Coronavirus: The NBA wants players to take a 50 percent pay cut. Players union counters with a 25 percent reduction in salary. Photo: Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant waits during a timeout during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Nov. 5, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The NBA and its players are in negotiations. And no, it’s not for a salary increase but for a pay cut. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all NBA games have been suspended, meaning there is no money coming in from games for the organization. Up until now, the players have been collecting their normal salaries, but feeling the pinch, the NBA wants them to take a reduction in pay.

Commissioner Adam Silver, National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts, as well as a group of league and union lawyers have been discussing various ways to prepare financially for how the canceled games will impact some percentage of lost salary for players, ESPN reported.

Millions of dollars are being lost almost daily for the NBA and they want the players to share the burden. The NBA has requested that players take a 50 percent pay cut while play is suspended, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The salary reduction would go into effect on April 15, the next standard NBA payday. Of course, the players aren’t happy about this and their union has countered with a 25 percent pay cut that would begin in mid-May, according to Charania. 

“The standard NBA pay schedule calls for 1/24th of a player’s salary to be paid on the 1st and 15th of each month, though players can negotiate different pay schedules so long as at least 20 percent of their base salary is given on standard NBA paydays,” CBS Sports reported. 

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Actually, the NBA by right can withhold a percentage of player salaries. During a normal season, 10 percent of player salaries are put in escrow just in case players make more than the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) permits. A clause in the CBA permits NBA teams to withhold 1/92.6th of a player’s salary for each game that is missed because of a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Still, a broader compromise is needed to ensure stability when it comes to the macroeconomics of the league. The salary cap, for instance, is based on projected league revenue, and it will almost certainly be impacted by the games lost to this hiatus,” CBS Sports reported.